Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
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Chesapeake Bay Field Office Biologist Frees Cooper's Hawk Trapped in the Library of Congress
Northeast Region, January 26, 2011
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Immature Cooper's Hawk,Craig Koppie, USFWS
Immature Cooper's Hawk,Craig Koppie, USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a
Adult Cooper's Hawk, Craig Koppie, USFWS
Adult Cooper's Hawk, Craig Koppie, USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a

After spending a week trapped in the Library of Congress, a female Cooper's hawk was safely captured Wednesday January 26 and taken to a rehabilitation center in Virginia. The hawk, nicknamed "Jefferson" eluded rescuers as it swooped overhead in the dome of the Thomas Jefferson Building's Main Reading Room. The hawk may have flown in through a broken window.


At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, a three-member team consisting of eagle/raptor biologist Craig Koppie, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office, Linda Moore Vice President of  the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia and Ken Smith, a federally licensed raptor bander, captured the bird using a caged pair of starlings, named Frick and Frack, as bait. It took 25 minutes.


Cooper's hawks feed mostly on other birds. High concentration areas for the non-native pigeons and starlings common throughout Washington D.C. are very attractive to these hawks especially during winter, when food resources are scarce.


Weighing in at 424 grams, the hawk was considered emaciated and was taken to the conservancy in Falls Church, VA.  The average weight for a first year female Cooper's hawk captured during the fall migration period (September thru December) is 528 grams (Koppie, C., Causey, M., Smith, K, and McGranahan, L., 2006-2010 Blue Ridge Raptor Banding Reports). After it is restored to health, the hawk will be released into the wild, far from the Library of Congress. 


Videos and more information on the species can be seen at: http://www.fws.gov/chesapeakebay/cooper.html


For more information about this rescue or other raptor information, contact:

Craig Koppie



Contact Info: Kathryn Reshetiloff, 410-573-4582, kathryn_reshetiloff@fws.gov
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